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Anyone read this?

Kacfan

Member
This is such a timely piece. I often wonder if Carpenters could have openly sold records in mainland China back in the 70's just how many records they could have sold - I suspect the numbers would have been insane. I spend alot of time in China with my work and I can confirm they remain a HUGE cultural presence - it's always a fascination to me why they connect with Karen and Richard so deeply.
a sense of melancholy and a longing for the golden past after surviving wars and cultural revolution.
 

Yamaguchi

Member
This is such a timely piece. I often wonder if Carpenters could have openly sold records in mainland China back in the 70's just how many records they could have sold - I suspect the numbers would have been insane. I spend alot of time in China with my work and I can confirm they remain a HUGE cultural presence - it's always a fascination to me why they connect with Karen and Richard so deeply.
I think after the madness and darkness of the Mao Era and the Cultural Revolution millions and millions of Chinese were ready for some soothing, relaxing, and beautiful music as an escape and retreat from it all. Who better than Karen, with Richard's music, to provide that? Plus, as Chinese music maven Kaiser Kuo says in the article, the Chinese found Karen's voice totally different, novel, and captivating.
 

adam

Active Member
Retro Top Ten: This week in 1973
"Considering their body of work and the accolades heaped upon them, it's hard to believe that
The Carpenters never had a No. 1 hit in the UK and that their only Irish number one was 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft'.
Karen and Richard Carpenter were at their creative peak in the early- to mid-seventies and 'Yesterday Once More' perfectly demonstrates the sound and distinctive Karen vocal that sold millions for the siblings. Though just missing out on the top spot in both the UK and US Billboard charts, the song was The Carpenters' biggest selling record worldwide. Richard has said in interviews that it is his favourite of all the songs he has written. 'Yesterday Once More' was deprived its UK No. 1 by seventies teen idol Donny Osmond."

Source:
Retro Top Ten: This week in 1973 - Independent.ie
Hi
I thought Please Mr Postman was Carpenters biggest worldwide hIt.Here is Chart information on both songs.Lets decide.


YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. PLEASE MR POSTMAN

Australia 9 Australia 1
Argentina 11 Argentina 5
Belgium 5 Brazil 2
Canada 1 Canada 1
Germany 21 Germany 10
Hong Kong 1 Ireland 2
Israel 1 Israel 1
Ireland 8 Japan 11
Japan 5 Netherlands 29
Malaysia 1 New Zealand 1
Netherlands 7 South Africa 1
New Zealand 2 Switzerland 5
Norway 6 UK 2
Singapore 1 USA 1
UK 2 Zimbabwe 2
USA 2
Venezuela 1
Zimbabwe 6
Looking at the list so far it looks like Yesterday once more may be the bigger hit.
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
I thought I read somewhere that Richard claimed that "Mr Postman" was their biggest international hit (sales) and he was a little dismayed because he was hoping his Carpenter/Bettis composition "Yesterday Once More" would have been the one. I bet Richard was caught of guard by the immense popularity of "Mr. Postman" and he did not appear to be overly enthusiastic during the filming of the video at Disneyland. Karen loved it!
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I thought I read somewhere that Richard claimed that "Mr Postman" was their biggest international hit (sales) and he was a little dismayed because he was hoping his Carpenter/Bettis composition "Yesterday Once More" would have been the one. I bet Richard was caught of guard by the immense popularity of "Mr. Postman" and he did not appear to be overly enthusiastic during the filming of the video at Disneyland. Karen loved it!
I think it's been quoted in several sources that in terms of total sales, 'Please Mr Postman' is their biggest-selling single internationally. 'Yesterday Once More' is probably second, although 'Close to You' remains their biggest seller in the US.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The Joy Of Ella Fitzgerald's Accessible Elegance

September 5, 20199:11 AM ET
HOLLY GLEASON
Excerpt:
"In 1980, on the TV special The Carpenters: Music, Music, Music, Karen Carpenter, painfully thin in a black satin pantsuit, shared a medley of a marimba-based "This Masquerade," "My Funny Valentine," "I'll Be Seeing You," "As Time Goes By" and "Someone To Watch Over Me" with the elder songstress, who wore another chiffon overlay gown. Though born decades apart, a sisterhood between them transcends age, looks and the fact that the tomboy drummer and the former numbers runner were not born into the clothes they wear. Though many of the songs the pair sing together are sad, they pull you in and make you feel better, comfortable, okay in emotions you might not want to feel. Kind of like wearing fancy clothes when you know you're just a gawky kid – and don't think you can pull off the chic. "
More:
The Joy Of Ella Fitzgerald's Accessible Elegance
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I was there! Gilbert O’Sullivan was the opening act. I sat in the box seats toward the front. All the A&M people were eating fried chicken dinners that night. It was my second Carpenters concert. They were playing GB2LV from the show back stage as we were exiting the venue. My favorite Carpenters concert over all. Karen was beautiful in pink.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Sales are sales, but "Yesterday Once More" is surely the better song/arrangement/performance of the two, which would explain Richard favoring it (all of which would be true even if he wasn't a writer on it!).
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
Today I went to a Barnes & Noble, looking for an elusive magazine. The store has an incomparable variety of magazines. One particular magazine, in a special display rack, caught my eye: "Soft Rock (The Archive Collection)" (Introducing the Ultimate Genre Guide to Soft Rock - Uncut). The cover displays several 70s acts, including the Eagles (pictured on the cover) as well as Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Wings, ELO, among others. One feature article is "Top 40 Soft Rock singles list." Of course, curiosity got the better of me --- nothing new --- and I had to see whether the Carpenters might be included. Sure enough, "(They Long to Be) Close to You" was listed at #29, the blurb for which was a mixed bag, including the notion that the song (evidently negatively) paved the way for "I'm Not in Love." Shockingly, the Carpenters weren't given their own feature in this "Soft Rock" publication, but at least they were given a small measure of notice...
 
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Geographer

Well-Known Member
Today I went to a Barnes & Noble, looking for an elusive magazine. The store has an incomparable variety of magazines. One particular magazine, in a special display rack, caught my eye: "Soft Rock (The Archive Collection)" (Introducing the Ultimate Genre Guide to Soft Rock - Uncut). The cover displays several 70s acts, including the Eagles (on the cover) as well as Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Wings, ELO, among others. One feature article is "Top 40 Soft Rock singles list." Of course, curiosity got the better of me --- nothing new --- and I had to see whether the Carpenters might be included. Sure enough, "(They Long to Be) Close to You" was listed at #29, the blurb for which was a mixed bag, including the notion that the song (evidently negatively) paved the way for "I'm Not in Love." Shockingly, the Carpenters weren't given their own feature in this "Soft Rock" publication, but at least they were given a small measure of notice...
You know, I've noticed this a lot: the biggest-selling American music act of the 1970's almost completely forgotten like they never existed. Kind of like being erased from history. I've seen this in many books, publications, and retrospects. But it really baffles me in areas like XM radio 70's channel that plays a nauseating amount of Elton John and the Bee Gees but scant play for Carpenters. They were all over the radio in the 70's; but one wouldn't know it from listening to a station that claims they are an homage to that decade.
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
You know, I've noticed this a lot: the biggest-selling American music act of the 1970's almost completely forgotten like they never existed. Kind of like being erased from history. I've seen this in many books, publications, and retrospects. But it really baffles me in areas like XM radio 70's channel that plays a nauseating amount of Elton John and the Bee Gees but scant play for Carpenters. They were all over the radio in the 70's; but one wouldn't know it from listening to a station that claims they are an homage to that decade.
Thank you for your reply, Geographer. And I completely agree with all you've written, disappointing as it is. As also noted by @Mark-T , it is indeed "revisionist history" --- run amok!
 

crescentnoon

New Member
You know, I've noticed this a lot: the biggest-selling American music act of the 1970's almost completely forgotten like they never existed. Kind of like being erased from history. I've seen this in many books, publications, and retrospects. But it really baffles me in areas like XM radio 70's channel that plays a nauseating amount of Elton John and the Bee Gees but scant play for Carpenters. They were all over the radio in the 70's; but one wouldn't know it from listening to a station that claims they are an homage to that decade.
What the hell is up with that? It really makes me mad. Why is this happening? The erasure of Carpenters music. Anyone have some good input on this? Is it due to the 'lame' image? Karen's horrific death? I hear music on the radio all the time from the 70s and 80s that doesn't sound 'cool' at all.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
What the hell is up with that? It really makes me mad. Why is this happening? The erasure of Carpenters music. Anyone have some good input on this? Is it due to the 'lame' image? Karen's horrific death? I hear music on the radio all the time from the 70s and 80s that doesn't sound 'cool' at all.
I believe Harry explained this phenomenon before. Seems that when market testing songs/acts played on radio stations, anytime Carpenters were played to test audiences, they turned the dials downward signifying that they don't want Carpenters played in any format; thus, even though Carpenters sold millions in the 70's...and they were all over radio at the time, to play them on a 70's format radio station today is thought to have the affect of the audience turning the radio dial or tune out completely. Did I get that right, Harry?

Personally, I don't completely buy it (the reaction, not Harry's assessment). If any of these "70's" radio format stations are actually "true" retrospects of the decade, Carpenters should be played almost as much as Elton John, the Bee Gees, or Paul McCartney. There are days on my 40 minute commute to work each day where I've heard TWO or THREE Elton John songs played; and I go WEEKS where I hear NO Carpenters song played. It seems very "lopsided" to me. Nothing against Elton John, per se; however, I don't think he was even played as much or as often in the actual 1970's as Serious XM 70's plays him now!

And while I am on the subject...when they DO play Carpenters, it is always the same three or four songs...maybe five (Close to You, WOJB, and Superstar. On very rare occasion, I will hear Rainy Days and Hurting Each Other. Where is Sing, YOM, For All We Know, Goodbye to Love, Only Yesterday, Please Mr. Postman (a No. 1!!!), etc.? Occasionally, I will here Goodbye To Love and Only Yesterday on the "Love" channel but my point is, there is a LOT from their "hits" catalogue that's gone "missing" from these channels. Could just be me and the times I am listening in my truck each day...maybe I'm not listening at the right times? But my commute aside, I am in my truck A LOT of hours each week and still rarely hear them played. Just sayin'.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
What Harry said is true. They don’t test well with the listening audience, so only at Christmas time. It totally stinks too. Even satellite or cable 70’s only play about the same 4 cuts. It drives me crazy, so I rarely listen to any radio. Thanks God I have over 100 Carpenters CDs I’ve purchased or made on my computer, and can play them all I want. Also on my iPhone and can use Bluetooth if need be. All hit radio my ^+%.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Did I get that right, Harry?
Yes. Thank you for saving me from typing that all out again.

Remember, radio is a business. They make their money by reaching the largest audience. If the music they play causes people to tune out - and there's a whole lot of people out there who HATE Carpenters - not just dislike - genuine HATRED. Playing a Carpenters record will cause tune-out. The more that tune-out, the lower the ratings, and the lower the revenue at the station.

Get used to it. Carpenters only test well at Christmas.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Yep, and most are owned by huge conglomerates with lots of shareholders, so it’s all about the money. Same with most everything now. No selection, bad service and whatever is popular this week. At least they have us, and always will.
So happy that so many who were very young, or not even born when Karen passed, have become obsessed fans too. Who are we going to leave our collections to Harry, Chris,Rudy,and anyone else been collecting for 40 plus years? Maybe some kind of Carpenters or A&M Collectors Corner. I dread the though of it all going on EBay.
 
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newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
If the music they play causes people to tune out - and there's a whole lot of people out there who HATE Carpenters - not just dislike - genuine HATRED. Playing a Carpenters record will cause tune-out. The more that tune-out, the lower the ratings, and the lower the revenue at the station.
I think the overriding reason for this is that many people in the listening public just regard their songs - well, their singles (as that’s all they know) - as depressing. Many of my friends have said exactly this to me over the years. You either get it or you don’t. I have a friend who is a complete ABBA nut but also loves many other harmony groups and he recently told me he’d vote the Carpenters his worst group ever for this reason.
 

Kacfan

Member
I think the overriding reason for this is that many people in the listening public just regard their songs - well, their singles (as that’s all they know) - as depressing. Many of my friends have said exactly this to me over the years. You either get it or you don’t. I have a friend who is a complete ABBA nut but also loves many other harmony groups and he recently told me he’d vote the Carpenters his worst group ever for this reason.
A sense of sadness and depression is a feeling/a place where a lot of people don’t want to go. So when they feel it from music they turn away. I have two young girls (7 and 5), both are happy normal kids. I noticed that one tends to get angry and the other one sad when things do not go their way. The one that gets angry loves rock music (Jimi Hendrix, guns and roses, and is put off by carpenters music). The one that has a tendency for sadness loves karen’s singing ( a I guess that is where my collection is going). So I feel that at the end of the day, it is not about beauty or musicality, it is about emotion. And for a lot of people, carpenters musics brings up an emotion they don’t want to feel. Hence the strong reaction of hatred.
 
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